The Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) at Dubai South has been the focus of much activity recently as Comlux has broken ground on its new hangar facility and Dubai-based aircraft management, sales, charter and CAMO company Empire Aviation Group (EAG) has committed to developing a multi-purpose business aviation facility on a plot adjacent to the VIP terminal.
Comlux executive chairman and CEO Richard Gaona says: “I am extremely grateful to MBRAH's team for providing us with the ideal location and all the support required to launch the construction of our new facility at Dubai South. Next year, Comlux will have been in operation for 20 years; this project is another milestone in our development worldwide, and Dubai is the ideal location to serve our Middle East and Africa customers. We look forward to welcoming them within one of the most modern and environmentally friendly centres in Dubai, and to provide them with high-quality and cost-efficient solutions for their VIP cabin changes and minor upgrades during their maintenance grounding time.”
The future Comlux facility will span 12,000 sqm and boasts a 5,000 sqm hangar, in addition to hosting an adjacent building spanning 2,250 sqm across three floors. The hangar will accommodate two ACJ or BBJ family aircraft types simultaneously up to a maximum ACJ321 or BBJ3 size, including the future ACJ TwoTwenty that will enter into service with Comlux Aviation over the coming months. The other building comprises of 750 sqm of technical shops on the ground floor plus a design showroom for the ACJ TwoTwenty, while the two additional floors will be dedicated to commercial and management offices, lounges and meeting rooms to welcome customers.
The ultra-modern facility will be fully equipped with solar panels, allowing it to produce 100 per cent of the electricity required by the company's activities. By the end of 2023, the hangar will be completely operational, allowing Comlux to provide its Middle East customers with line maintenance, AOG and parking rental services.
MBRAH CEO Tahnoon Saif says: “We are pleased to attend the ground-breaking of the new Comlux facility, that will present added value for VIP clients across the region as well as the overall business aviation sector. At Dubai South, our mandate is to foster our leadership's vision of making the emirate a leading global aviation hub. We will spare no effort in attracting top companies, supporting those such as Comlux to complete and operate a new facility.”
Saif signed an agreement with EAG founder and managing director Paras P Dhamecha at MEBAA 2022 for a facility that will be funded, owned and operated by the group. Work will start in early 2023 with completion expected by the end of 2024.
The mixed-use facility will house EAG's global corporate headquarters as well as the operations control and CAMO for all group operations, crew check-in and a briefing area. It will also provide office space for aviation and related companies, luxury retail food and beverage outlets and a rooftop lounge for entertainment and events.
Dhamecha says: “Since 2007, Empire Aviation has been focusing on business aviation, with a mission to increase corporate use of private jets for business travel, and we have developed into a truly global business. There is no doubt that we have benefitted significantly by operating from Dubai with its world-class reputation, facilities and regulators, so we are delighted to sign this agreement for a new business aviation facility at MBRAH.”
Saif adds: “This agreement reiterates our mandate to attract the top players in the industry to establish their presence at MBRAH and benefit from our ecosystem to connect with global markets. We look forward to working closely with the Group and assisting it in all its business needs.”
Since launching in 2007, Empire Aviation has expanded operations globally and now has AOCs or equivalent in three countries. In 2021, the company was appointed by Gulfstream as its international sales representative for India.
Comlux Aviation manages a fleet of 22 VIP aircraft, including one ACJ318, two ACJ319, two ACJ320neo, two 737-500BBJ, one 767BBJ and one 787 BBJ. Indianapolis, US-based Comlux Completion is an approved ACJ and BBJ cabin outfitter, an ACJ service centre, a BBJ warranty and repair facility, the exclusive completion centre of the first 17 ACJ TwoTwenty cabins and the first approved ACJ TwoTwenty service centre.